Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 9

Posted on: 18th Dec 2018

Waady: the Group 3 winner looks capable of putting up a bold bid

The festive period means there are only two meetings in the UAE this weekend, with Meydan staging a fantastic card on Thursday, followed by Abu Dhabi on Sunday. HH Sheikh Hamdan has 13 runners in total; starting with ten at Meydan.

The Madjani Stakes for Purebred Arabians gets Meydan’s action underway and it has been elevated to a Listed contest. Named after the Shadwell stallion, the nine and a half furlong dirt event has a solid line-up, in which Sheikh Hamdan’s Al Zahir is one of those to beat.

Ali Al Rahyi’s five-year-old won two Group 1s at Abu Dhabi, on turf, last season, before finishing a creditable fifth in the Group 1 Kahayla Classic at the Dubai World Cup meeting. That day he was one place behind Ziyadd, who re-opposes here for trainer Jean De Roualle. Al Zahir is yet to prove as strong in three starts on dirt, but has a good draw in five and will be ridden by Dane O’Neill.

O’Neill rides Al Zahir in preference to the Doug Watson-trained Sauternes Al Maury, who also makes his seasonal debut. The quirky six-year-old will aim to do better than the sixth he managed in this race last year and will break from post one under Pat Dobbs.

There are two Listed races for Thoroughbreds and the Dubai Creek Mile, race three, looks a fascinating encounter. The team run Zainhom, trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, who has been running well in defeat at Abu Dhabi, finishing fourth and second there on his last two starts, both from wide draws. By Street Cry out of a Storm Cat mare, he is very exciting on this first attempt on Meydan’s dirt surface and has drawn well in two.

The Listed ten furlong Entisar Stakes was won last year by Watson’s Etijaah, and the eight-year-old aims to defend his title here. A very good second to re-opposing stablemate Cosmo Charlie over an inadequate mile last time out, he is one of the leading players in a fascinating race and has drawn well in three. It looks a very strong race, however, with Group 1 winners Saltarin Dubai and Furia Cruzada among those to be feared.

The six furlong handicap, race six, features several horses rated high enough to run at the Carnival and Sheikh Hamdan has declared five. Group 3 winner Waady heads the weights on his second run of the season and first on Meydan’s dirt. Not disgraced at Jebel Ali last time, this flatter track should suit him better. He looks to hold stronger claims than Al Rayhi’s Mustallib, who was well-beaten on his return from a break two weeks ago and who drops a furlong in trip.

In the same race as Mustallib, Farook ran much better, finishing third to the now 100-rated Rodaini. Down in trip here, he can again make his presence felt for trainer Erwan Charpy and is the choice of O’Neill.

Shajjy, well beaten last time over ten furlongs, and Alraased, complete a strong blue and white team. The latter was second behind the progressive Lavaspin over course and distance two starts ago, and can again make the frame.

Al Rayhi’s Taamol, an impressive winner here over seven furlongs two starts ago, runs in the concluding mile handicap. Tried in deeper company when ninth over this course and distance last time, the four-year-old returns to that trip again here, and this looks an easier assignment than the Conditions race he ran in a month ago.

On Sunday, the smart Arabian AF Monsef heads a select Shadwell team of three on the grass at Abu Dhabi. Al Mheiri’s five-year-old was sixth over course and distance there two weeks ago, when drawn in 15, and can fare better this time from seven, under jockey Ben Curtis.

The mile Thoroughbred handicap looks very open and two carry the Shadwell silks. Mujeeb heads the weights off a mark of 89. The Charpy-trained Dubawi gelding returns to turf for just the second time since moving to the UAE and will certainly be fit., having finished third at Jebel Ali just last Friday. He’s joined in the field by Tafaakhor, not beaten far when eighth at Abu Dhabi a month ago. He is drawn in four and will be ridden by Ronan Whelan, who is searching for his first winner in the UAE having missed the early part of the season through injury.

Tags: uae; racing; lauraking; meydan,

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